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No Civilised Society Can Or Should Tolerate Honour Killings Says Bombay HC [Read Judgment]

Rejecting the bail application of one of the accused in the killing of a 15 year old Swapnil Sonavane, Justice Sadhana Jadhav of the Bombay High Court observed that honour killings are reflective of a barbaric society and has no place in a civilised one.

Swapnil Sonavane was in love with a girl. They were in a relationship. As recorded in the order, the girl’s parents did not approve of her relationship with Swapnil as he belonged to a different caste. Swapnil was assaulted by the girl’s brother Sagar and other boys on July 18, 2016. He was later taken to the police station and was made to admit that he would never contact the girl again. Swapnil’s father Shahaji Sonavane went to the Police Station the next day to lodge a complaint, he was not attended to by any police officer and ultimately the police refused to lodge a complaint.

Then Shahaji was informed by his daughter that around 15-20 boys had come to their home and were kicking the door. Sagar and the girl’s cousin were amongst these boys. When Shahaji reached home, these boys were humiliating Swapnil and his family members and then later fatally assaulted Swapnil. Swapnil was declared dead after he was taken to the DY Patil Hospital.

Justice Sadhana Jadhav who was hearing the bail application of one of the accused in the case of Swapnil’s death made some drastic observations about the attitude of the police officers. She said- “It is unfortunate incident wherein police have shown zero sensitivity. In fact, the whole episode could have been saved by the police and they could have saved the life of Swapnil, had they taken right steps in the right direction at the appropriate time, but the police officers were busy posing as Bollywood cops and referring to movies in which there were cases of elopement of young boys and girls.”

Justice Jadhav also noted that naming the girl as an accused in the case was unwarranted as she was also under pressure and was a victim. She said- “It is more unfortunate that the victim girl has been arraigned as an accused in the case. Police have blown the incident out of proportion by arraigning the young girl as an accused only for public satisfaction.”

Justice Jadhav finally observed that the applicant was an “active participant in hatching the plot for eliminating and assaulting Swapnil” and should be shown no leniency hence his bail was rejected. She said- “Honor killing is a reflection of a Barbaric Society. The civilised society cannot and should not tolerate such brutalities where a young boy is killed only because he is in love. It would be necessary to sensitize the police department on such issues and the police need to be reminded every day and in every manner, that they are public servants and it is incumbent upon them to protect the society and not join hands with anti-social elements.”

Read the Judgment here.

This article has been made possible because of financial support from Independent and Public-Spirited Media Foundation.

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